Private MD News
| Infectious Diseases
Sleep may be necessary for vaccines to be effective
Updated: 2012-08-01 14:01:06 CST Category: Infectious Diseases
People who, though a lab test, find out they are not immune to infectious diseases such as hepatitis B may choose to undergo vaccinations. However, these inoculations may not be effective if patients do not get enough sleep, according to research conducted by the University of Pittsburgh.
Medical experts have known that sleep helps regulate the immune system. In order to investigate the importance of sleep to the inoculation process, scientists conducted a study on 125 adults who received the three-shot series of hepatitis B vaccines. The researchers collected serum samples before the final two inoculations in order to measure immune response, and gathered information on patients' sleep quality as well.
Results showed that those who slept less than six hours a night were 11.5 times more likely to mount an ineffective response to the vaccines than subjects who slept seven or more hours.
"With the emergence of our 24-hour lifestyle, longer working hours, and the rise in the use of technology, chronic sleep deprivation has become a way of life for many Americans," said lead author Aric Prather, Ph.D. "These findings should help raise awareness in the public health community about the clear connection between sleep and health."
If not treated properly, hepatitis B may lead to liver failure or cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Individuals who are worried about their immune status to such diseases can undergo a lab test to detect the presence of antibodies.
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